Everyone always tells you there's nothing better than the open road. Well, that's not always true, as these terrifying flicks prove.
The concept of travel has always had a macabre place in storytelling, with the idea of haunted highways and chance encounters on road trips being a ubiquitous trope in spooky stories. This comes from the fact that leaving your comfort zone and travelling across unfamiliar territory is a frightening thought, no matter how used to it you might be.
Road Trip horror is a great sub-genre that takes these anxieties and pushes them to the max. It can manifest in many ways, from supernatural encounters to realistic showdowns, but often excites audiences thanks to its focus on gore, suspense and the inescapable settings that give the characters nowhere to hide.
Viewers have been treated to some fantastic explorations of this concept, with flicks like Texas Chainsaw Massacre and The Hills Have Eyes showing what awful things can happen on a trip. Still, the following ten entries have the best focus on mixing travel with horror.
These movies all prove that driving to your destination isn't always as simple as it should be.
10. Riding The Bullet
Stephen King is the master of taking ordinary scenarios and turning them into nightmare fuel, which is why this movie - based on his novella of the same name - is such an atmospheric experience. It takes the simple concept of heading to see a loved one and turns it into a dark examination of all things surrounding death.
Riding the Bullet follows Alan Parker, a young artist who learns that his mother has suffered a stroke, and decides to hitchhike his way to her. However, along the way, he is picked up by a man harbouring a deadly secret.
Being a hitchhiker must be terrifying, as you completely put your complete trust in strangers, and this movie takes that fear to another level. Parker ends up riding with a man named George Staub, whose gravestone he had just seen in a cemetery. As if riding alongside a dead man wasn't bad enough, it becomes worse, as you learn that this chance encounter hasn't happened by mistake.
The film's general focus on the theme of death makes this an incredibly macabre movie, and this is captured in the chilling atmosphere. The lighting is dark, the blue-coloured tones are bone-chilling, and the focus on cemeteries and graves makes the whole flick uncomfortable and creepy.